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Squash Tops Higher-Ranked Tufts

By Robert Aronstam

STAFF WRITER

After routing cross-town rival Tufts University 8-1 on Feb. 6, the squash team fell 6-3 to Bates College on Monday. However, the Tufts win pushed MIT up two spots in the national rankings.

MIT claimed the top three matches in Monday’s match against Bates, but failed to win any of the remaining six contests. The three wins came from MIT’s most consistent competitors: Kunal K. Surana ’03, Simon C. Bradbury G, and Naveen Goela ’03.

Bradbury snuffed out his opponent with the greatest of ease, winning 9-5, 9-2, 9-2. Surana was tested slightly more rigorously and needed four games to dispose of his foe by a score of 9-6, 9-6, 3-9, 9-5.

After cruising through his first two games (9-5, 9-4), Goela stumbled in the following two games, losing by scores of 8-10 and 3-9, and he was forced to play a fifth game. He slammed the door in the deciding game, winning by a healthy margin of 9-2.

Despite the fine performances by the top seeds, MIT lost the overall match because none of the lower six seeds could muster a win.

Top of lineup strong against Tufts

Against Tufts, six of the top nine players claimed their victories in only three-games. Five of those six players yielded fewer than ten points to their opponents. Captain Robert A. Finn ’02 and Bradbury led the way by allowing only six points from their Tufts competitors. Their scores were 9-3, 9-2, 9-1 and 9-3, 9-1, 9-2, respectively. Top-seeded Surana won 9-4, 9-2, 9-4, seventh seed Rita E. Monson ’04 won 9-5, 9-0, 9-2, and eighth seed Rodney E. Huang ’03 won 9-4, 9-3, 9-2. Third-seeded Goela added the other three-game win with a score of 9-5, 9-7, 9-6.

Unlikely comeback for MIT

Perhaps the most unexpected match of the Tufts blowout came at the sixth seed. Robert A. Aronstam ’02 came into the match with only one win on the season, against a far inferior Fordham squad. Aronstam’s match against Tufts began similarly as many of his previous losses had, with two weakly contested games.

Entering the third game, he was faced with a 3-9, 2-9 deficit. Aided by a miraculous change in momentum, Aronstam rebounded to take the final three games by scores of 9-7, 9-3, and 9-3. Aronstam’s five-game win was the first of his career, but only one of three five-game wins for MIT over Tufts. The other two five-gamers came from Wesley O. Jin ’05 and Simon C. Adelman CMI. Jin and Adelman won by scores of 6-9, 9-0, 7-9, 9-1, 9-4 and 9-6, 6-9, 5-9, 9-7, 9-7, respectively. Steve S. Liu ’04 won his match in four games, with a score of 9-7, 5-9, 9-7, 9-4.